27th of Firstfall, 9:42 Dragon
Okay, so now that I’ve had a chance to get the story at a time when we WEREN’T chasing down a mysterious robed figure, it seems I was a bit mistaken regarding the situation with Kennadrin and the lyrium. Apparently the dwarf and his brothers were all trying to cut Lendrid’s gang out of their deal (since apparently said gang was to serve as some sort of middleman in this transaction) and instead go straight to their main buyer, this underworld bigwig who apparently goes by the name of Blane. Seems Blane didn’t take kindly to this disruption of his operation, however, so he sent his assassin to go steal the lyrium and kill the dwarves — and while he’s no kinslayer, Kennadrin still gets stupid bastard points for leaving them alone while they slept — while also ensuring that Lendrid’s gang got paid. So, Lendrid’s happy, Kennadrin’s pissy, and Blane has got everything running the way he wants. Or something like that. Bunch of underworld political nonsense, from what I can see.
Anyway, apparently those folk in robes are part of some sort of cult in the city that has beef with Blane — probably legitimate, he’s a gangster after all, but whatever — and the man wants to hire us to serve as bodyguards at this fancy party he’s going to. If we do a good job, not only do we get paid, but it seems Blane will also give us an in on his business in the city, which would be useful for Aneth Ara if nothing else. Oddly enough, it seems Blane is more interested in seeing whether we can even make it to the party than in actually having us guard him; he didn’t even tell us where the damn thing is, much less give us any way of getting in, and got downright snippy when I just asked him directly where the venue is. Whatever. Let the others dance on eggshells trying to impress the man. I’m given a job, I do it, and if I need more information I ask for it.
Incidentally, it turns out there’s another familiar face from Ostwick in Blane’s entourage. It seems old Larry Jerkins, another deserter from the Wall Guard, has found his way out here to Orlais and fallen in with this Blane fellow. Apparently he hasn’t forgiven me for ratting him and his band of weasels out, either — he was giving me the stinkeye all during my meeting with Blane, and Blane implied he’d been venting his spleen about it for quite some time. Me, I consider it water under the bridge at this point; Jerkins and his mates may have left the rest of us to die, but at least they didn’t lead their squadmates to the slaughter like Kingsley did.
I digress. Blane finally and reluctantly told us where the damn party was going to be, and I headed over that way, looking to see if I could get guard work either at the party itself or with one of the guests. No dice, as it turns out; seems the Orlesian elite don’t trust outsiders with guard duty. Not sure I can blame ‘em for that, really. Still, I did find out that apparently anyone, no matter how scruffy-looking, can get into the party with no questions asked if they present a proper-looking invitation. Enna and Legnar immediately went about trying to find one for us to copy, each in their own way, while the rest of us kept an eye out for trouble.
As it turns out, trouble decided to come looking for us. Who should show up out of the crowd but Jerkins, still pissy about that whole desertion nonsense and wanting to have it out. So, we told a nearby guard we were going to duel, and then Jerkins proceeded to embarrass himself by bouncing off my shield repeatedly while I poked him with my spear. Eventually he got tired and ran off, and I went to go catch up with the others — only to learn that apparently LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE was accosted by someone from their past with a bone to pick at the same time as I was dealing with Jerkins. The Maker moves in mysterious ways, as they say, and it seems today He got a little impatient.